Metal Bulletin Zine (est. 2006) is a metal music zine (Seattle region), online and on paper. 160 issues so far.
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Tuesday, March 21, 2017
OUT NOW: Sumerlands
release date: September 16th, 2016
label: Relapse Records
Sorry for being so late to the party. Is it possible that you have not heard this classic-style metal band from the United States? There is no excuse for having taken so long to tell you about Summerlands. There really isn't. It's especially bad because this album is very good and the audiences into classic, traditional, melodic heavy metal are bound to enjoy it. Speaking from experience with the album, it is the kind that you want to play again and again the whole day and then do the same thing again the next day. It's for audiences that want traditional heavy metal with quality and without any nonsense. It's heavy metal, get to the point and don't waste my time, right? Singing, good riffs and solos, songs that rock. That's it. That's Sumerlands. Below you can read what some reviewers have said about it. They are correct! Be sure to listen the complete album at the first link below.
Several reviewers on Metal Archives have really been impressed with Sumerlands: "It’s been so long since I sat down and listened to an album that didn’t feel like it was borrowing anything from Priest, Metallica, or Sabbath. That being said, the whole aesthetic of the album is still reminiscent of a style, that being the grimey pre-speed metal era of metal. What does that mean? Guitars with distortion and solos that show off some skill, but nothing face-melting or blistering fast. The riffs are mostly blues rock tunes with the sound and skill pulled off by someone like Mercyful Fate. As for the vocalist, he’s a little muddied by the music, but there is a pleasant echo to his voice, his vocal range is impressive, pulling off higher pitched wails and some deeper Ozzy-style drones as the riffs play on." Another reviewer also chimed in: "Not wanting to waste any of your precious time, Sumerlands made an album that is just over 30 minutes long. Other than the instrumental outro, the songs are lean and streamlined. But these four to five minute tracks contain a great deal of variety and intensity. Punchy rhythm riffs drive along at mid-pace, recalling early Queensrÿche, the later Black Sabbath or Ozzy’s revolving door of guitarists in the 80’s. They are adorned with sharp melodic phrases whose musicality is greatly accentuated by Rizk’s excellent production job. On top of that, Swanson delivers his mournful vocals. Cherishing his middle register, he complements the delicious guitar work with gravitas and sensibility."
OFFICIAL: Formed by an all-star cast of scene veterans, heavy metal force SUMERLANDS burst out of the gates with a fully-formed sound on their Guardian demo in 2014. The band’s sound is one that calls to mind the most learned heavy metal ancestors and the most forward-thinking newcomers: one that sounds old but it feels new. In its short existence, the band has already garnered widespread praise from the likes of Sputnik Music, No Clean Singing, and Pitchfork, the latter of which stated that “Sumerlands sound like Cirith Ungol and every lost 80s American power metal band on steroids of steel, getting swole and flexing their might.”
Now, SUMERLANDS are set to explode with their incredible self-titled debut album of classic heavy metal. Inspired by the timeless guitar-driven sound of the 70’s & 80’s, SUMERLANDS feature former Hour of 13 / Atlantean Kodex vocalist Phil Swanson and renowned producer Arthur Rizk (Inquisition, Power Trip, Pissgrave) on guitars and behind the boards! Powerful guitar riffs and galloping rhythms meld flawlessly together with soaring vocals and pristine production to create strong, hook-filled, moody anthems. This is a new wave of American Heavy Metal at its finest!